On the Lived Theology Reading List: A Culture of Engagement

A Culture of Engagement- Law, Religion, and Morality, by Cathleen KavenyLaw, Religion, and Morality

Conforming to cultural norms and resisting them have created a long-standing tension among religious traditions in America. In this book, author Cathleen Kaveny offers an alternative approach through “a culture of engagement,” in which institutions embrace both a respect for tradition and a civic role that involves reviewing social and political issues. Kaveny emphasizes five areas— Law as a Teacher, Religious Liberty and Its Limits, Conversations about Culture, Conversations about Belief, and Cases and Controversies— to illustrate how interaction between the religious and secular spur rich conversations among moral and cultural traditions. A collection of Kaveny’s revised Commonweal magazine contributions, A Culture of Engagement highlights the place of culturally-informed religious traditions within the difficult conversations addressing the most pressing issues of the day.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“Cathy Kaveny is, simultaneously, one of our country’s most important religious intellectuals and one of our most rigorous legal scholars. She writes with great care and understanding, but also with passion and an uncommon humanity. A Culture of Engagement is a superb introduction to her thought. No matter where you stand, she will challenge you, and inspire you, too.”—E. J. Dionne Jr., Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

“This is a bold and brilliant engagement with the fundamental questions of faith, freedom, and family—crisply written, cogently argued, and constructively casuistic. Building on her earlier masterwork, Law’s Virtues, Cathleen Kaveny now shows us even more clearly how the law can teach us how to live a life of virtue as communicants and citizens in a world of ever-growing complexity.”—John Witte, Jr., Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, McDonald Distinguished Professor, Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University

“Cathy Kaveny’s A Culture of Engagement offers a highly instructive collection of her essays on law, religious liberty, American culture, Catholicism, and a host of contemporary social-ethical issues. Her voice is always calm, measured, and fair. Her thesis—that American Catholics should strive for a culture of engagement rather than merely openness or identity, resonates deeply. And it is consistently evidenced in her approach to a wide range of issues. This collection helps solidify Professor Kaveny’s role as one of American Catholicism’s leading public intellectuals.”—David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life, Mercer University

For more information on A Culture of Engagement, click here.

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